When does a car become exempt from an MOT?

Wednesday 25th October 2023

booking mot and service together

An MOT test consists of a series of checks that ensures your vehicle is safe to drive on the road. It is an annual legal requirement here in the UK for most cars over three years old. But, there are some circumstances where a vehicle may be exempt from needing an MOT certificate. 

What are the requirements for an MOT exemption 

There are some cars that may qualify for exemption from an MOT test. This criteria is based on a vehicle's age and ‘substantial changes’. These include: 

Under 3 years old 

For any car that is under 3 years old, an MOT test is not yet required. Though it is not a legal requirement to do so, we recommend booking in for regular services, so when your MOT is due, there are no nasty surprises. 

40+ years old

Cars that are 40 years or older that are kept safe and are in a roadworthy condition, and that have had no ‘substantial changes’ made to them within the last 30 years, (otherwise known as classic cars or historic vehicles) – are eligible for MOT exemption.  

Owners of a historic vehicle, where the car was manufactured before the 1st January 1983 or was registered before the 8th January 1983, may also be eligible for tax exemption. 

What is meant by ‘substantial change’?

‘Substantial change’ refers to any structural changes made to a vehicle that replaces any of its vital parts. This includes the body, engine, chassis, axels or anything that changes how the vehicle operates. You can find a full list of what is considered ‘substantial changes’ here.  

How can I apply for MOT exemption? 

If your vehicle is eligible for MOT exemption, you should fill out the V112 form available here. Once this has been completed, you need to present this to your local Post Office along with your V5C logbook, the V11 letter (tax reminder letter) and your last valid MOT certificate to declare that your car is exempt from MOT testing. For motorists in Northern Ireland, an insurance certificate is also required to be shown. You are still able to drive your car as your application is being processed.  

How Formula One Autocentres can help 

If your vehicle is exempt from an MOT test, we still recommend considering booking your car in for an MOT and regular service to ensure it is safe and roadworthy. Find out more information about the services we offer from your local Formula One Autocentre today. 

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